Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Impossible Congruence

I wonder if she realizes how much it hurts my heart that I can not pretend anymore. I want a mom that protects me, and pulls me from harms way. Even now, I am asked to play the 'happy family'.
He destroyed our happy family when he took her self-confidence and cornered her behavior to his desire, not hers.  In those moments, having a 'happy family' became impossible. Ever. She couldn't fight him and he frightened her into believing she couldn't make it without his support.
I remember him to be a very stern, never pleased, individual.  If perfection was not achieved, you had not given enough, practiced enough, prepared enough.  As a human being, I now know that perfection is unattainable.  And that is so okay with me, mostly because it would piss him off that I feel that way,
So back to the impossible situation: she asks me to play 'happy family', I tell her I can not. And I also ask that I not be asked again because I am too vulnerable. I do not need or want the upheaval that it creates when I knowingly accept something that defies my existence.  I become overly anxious to the point of physical reflexes that may or may not extend to purging.
I no longer accept the treatment that I was conditioned to. Treatment that ultimately resulted in my feelings that what I got was what I deserved. That I deserved the bad things that happened to me. I do not matter enough to protect.  My feelings are inconsequential because being a 'happy family' is more important.
The messages are consistent through most families: you know, blood is thicker than water; if you can count on anybody, you can count on family; they'll always be there for you; family is forgiven because they are family, no matter what they do and many, many more.
What can I do about that mom I dreamed of and still want to this day?  I know what I don't want anymore, therefore, I believe she could understand if she would open her heart and listen to what I am saying.
I can not feel peace and calm spirit if I am pretending to be something I'm not.  Kinda defeats the whole 'thou shalt not lie' commandment, right?
So, why do you continue to ask me?  To remove your responsibility in all this?  Sure would be nice to be able to do that with the things I did that I had to take responsibility for as a result of something he did.
So, when I say I can't play 'happy family', please try and understand it is not that I can't anymore, it is that I won't.  It is not that I don't love you, it is that I love me too, now.  I will not allow myself to be treated in such a deprecating manner.  I am a person with feelings and I matter.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Opening The Box ~ State to Federal

Well, here we are five months after I started another trek to the state legislature of Tennessee and the path has widened. 
How, you may ask?  I tip-toed into social media networking and started a petition that is driven in form by the signatures being received.  Let me try to explain.
First things first: To US Congress: support NO Statute of Limitations for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse SIGN IT and please make sure your e-mail address is correct or the signature will be rejected.  I figure if you are reading this blog, your signature needs to be on the petition to the United States Congress.  
This petition is culmination of many of my efforts to make a change to help survivors of child sexual abuse who choose to attempt repairing their life after trauma.  If you have not taken 3 minutes to sign to help, go ahead and click the link above and find the submission form on the right side of the window pane.  The petition allows for anonymous as well as public signature and if you feel the urge to comment, I would be grateful for feedback to take to our governing officials. Once the submission button is clicked and a confirmation is displayed, you can hit the back button in your browser a couple of times and be rerouted back to this blog page.
I digress, my apology.  
So the first iteration of this petition was directed specifically to Tennessee's State Legislature setting boundaries for the petition to residents of the State of Tennessee only.  I tried to convey the petition's specific geographical constraint to no avail.  
Signatures started showing up on the petition from states other than my home state of Tennessee.  I panicked (which is normal) and obsessed immediately about what to do.  Let it go, as is, and see where it takes me was the final solution that rang clearly and true in my gut.  I meandered down the path a bit more, listening along the way to His spirit that moves me.  
I have now setup my connected Facebook page Get the Lid OFF alongside a personal page 'Ginger GetthelidOFF' wondering how this would help get petition traffic.  Well, for one thing, all my FB posts show up in my twitter timeline.  Hmmmm.  Pretty good.  Easy.  Okay, I can do this. 
I began to surround myself with recovery advocates and survivors alike.  Sharing my links and tweets of links and posts from blogs allowed the possible signature population to grow to the size of this great  nation.  
On receiving an endorsement of such 'a worthy goal' from a successful advocate,I have become inspired even more. I discovered that this advocate for child sex abuse survivors pursued NO Statute of Limitations for child abuse in 1992, but at a federal level rather than the state level for each state as I originally intended.  On her return from a global effort, this person has reached out to support my effort and is going to provide me the details of her approach to the US Congress in 1992.  She is also planning to share the results of that attempt to institute NO Statute of Limitations for civil litigation as an aid to survivors of childhood sexual abuse to enable a better recovery opportunity.  
NOW, this movement is growing on a national level.  Signatures from residents that represent all these United States speaks profoundly to my path's expansion.  
By succeeding at the federal level, all states are required to follow the federal requirements  and are free to lobby and/or litigate issues the federal laws do not address.  

LOOK OUT CONGRESS, HERE WE COME. WHO IS WITH ME?

And thank YOU ~ I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for each and every one of you, for the signatures and comments, and mostly all the love I feel from your support.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Scarlet Letter ~ Nightmare Thermometer

The  walls oozed at every intersection until the plaster began to fall away at the corners from the weight of the water. Is it raining?  The only explanation that comes to me when I see sunbeams floating in the sliding glass door is the unreal nature of my surroundings.  I must be in a dream.
A lot of things impact the dream state for me, the most important one being number of hours slept in succession.  My tendency is to sleep three or four hours at a time to alleviate the opportunity for dreaming.  As a general rule, I prefer not to have dreams at all and I work at all costs to constrain the length of naps.  The less sleep needed, the better.  Made sense to me in an odd way since all I did was sleep when I was depressed, totally unaware of depression's existence.  
I got in the habit of keeping a dream journal in the early stages of  my recovery.  I had to be able to remember the dreams, so I had a notepad on the night stand adjacent to my bed and immediately on waking from a nightmare, I would jot down as much as I could recall so that it would remind me later what each dream was about.  Then I would fill in the gaps with more detail as I reviewed my notes. 
Recalling one of my most vivid nightmares is a torrential gushing of water through tunnels under the streets of the city.  So strong that the water starts to overflow the concrete barriers used to hold back the dark, tumultuous river before me.  I sense the fear, but my feet seem frozen to the pavement.  Water is splash landing all around me.
Sidenote: Maxine is the runt of a saved stray litter of pups that turned out to be my very loyal companion. 
I see my Maxine in the distance, but am unable to reach her.  My feet seem to be moving in place, but I make no progression toward saving her.  My heart is overwhelmed with distress at the prospect of her loss.  My attention is turned to a whaling baby floating in the violent raging typhoon.  I reached out to grab the infant in the split second timing needed to be successful, but was unable to save the swaddled bundle as it floated past me.  I startled awake and quickly noted the events of my nightmare.
My emotional condition is what determines the size and velocity of the water I see in any given dream.  There is flooding all around me in nightmares if I am in extreme emotional distress.  Generally, this signifies I am at a point in my recovery where pivotal discovery can happen. My concentration on the highlights of each nightmare help me understand the meaning and what I think my subconscious is trying to work through.  The above nightmare helped me  discover that I am more important than Maxine, my baby dog, and that saving myself, is more important than anything else.  
What an eye opener.  I must be IMPORTANT to ME to be able to help anything or anyone else.  Whoa, that was a totally new perspective for me to take on myself. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Opening The Box ~ Nobody Did Anything?

Happenstance, a dear friend invited me to a reunion with some long-time friends.  Memory recalls we became family as we worked maddening hours to grow our united vision.  Living the values of a family, unscarred by tragedy revealed helpful, honest, trustworthy people.  I became familiar with a different kind of life. I discovered strong role models driven to succeed by finding the win, win, win. I absorbed the values and the team absorbed me.  I felt as if I finally belonged somewhere.  A feeling very different than what I felt most of my life.  These true friends have helped build me up and give me strength to continue this path.  They let me know that I matter and that their lives have been impacted by mine.  I have discovered that these individuals are the ones that matter, as well as, to whom I matter. 
The obverse though, is that I didn't matter before.  The negatively slanted nick names and constant belittling to keep me in line.  This sends a shudder to every cell of my being.  The admission that economic stability was more important than protecting the child.  The clarification that this child wasn't valued enough to make any action toward doing the right thing.  Doctors, that's right, multiple doctors and nurses from two separate hospitals ignored the medical evidence and instincts to reach out and save this child from the horrific life that was her existence.  The medical records tell the story stating from doctor notes: "Patient vehemently denies any sexual promiscuity". 
Multiple tests were performed that indicate the doctors inherently questioned the circumstances of her situation.  The x-rays further indicated the truth to these medical practitioners.  Why did they not act?  
How must that have hurt this child without her realizing the truth at the time.  Her exit was her only option, if she didn't matter to the parents who raised her.  As soon as timing allowed the escape, I packed my light yellow VW beetle with what would fit (including a ten-speed bicycle) and my dog.  With $2.10 in my pocket, I left all that I had been taught was everything I could depend on.  His saskatchewan silhouette in the front foyer doorway is seared in my memory as I recall his words, "you'll be back".  
I instantaneously retorted, "don't you count on it!", and quickly got in my car for fear the monster would snatch me back. I drove off into the night in search of something more.  And that very well might mean 'nothing', but that was better than where I was.